Bahraini refugees call for ”understanding” as they rally against mandatory detention in Sydney today
Bahraini Australian Youth Movement joins World Refugee Day Rally in Sydney
Three audio interviews with Bahraini refugees are attached and permissible for use
Refugee rights supporters gathering in Sydney today to mark World Refugee Day will be joined by the Bahraini Australian Youth Movement who are calling for more ‘’understanding’’ from the Australian people about the plight of refugees in this country.
“There are a lot of people in the Australian community who think that us coming here as refugees is against them”, said Abdulelah al’Hubaishi, a 34 year old civil engineer from Bahrain who was granted a protection visa in Australia last year.
“Every refugee has the right to come here. All of us have a migration history in this country, except of course the Aborigines. I was sure I would be tortured or killed in Bahrain. It was not my choice to come to Australia. I fled to save my life”.
The Bahraini Australian Youth Movement, as part of the World Refugee Day Rally today, is calling for an end to policies of mandatory detention and the deportation of asylum seekers.
In an interview attached, Al’Hubaishi describes the harrowing journey from Bahrain to Australia and his shock upon arrival at being treated “very badly” by Australian immigration. He was held in Villawood detention centre for two months before being granted asylum.
“What crime had I committed to be detained? I was fleeing from prison in my country and then I was put in prison here. What had I done wrong? I had the right to come to this country because my life was in danger. Everybody has the right to live!”.
The pro-democracy movement in Bahrain has been subject to violent repression since February 14 last year. More than 90 people have been killed by government security forces and there are currently over 700 political prisoners. The violence is ongoing.
“Just a few days ago [security forces] attacked my house, arresting two of my brothers and my uncle. They have beaten my aunts and abused them. One of the security forces placed a gun against my aunt’s head after she said this is not the way to treat human beings. That is my family’s experience, and not just my family, but that happens with most of the families in Bahrain”, said Abbas Abdul’Rassul, spokesperson for the Bahraini Australian Youth Movement, in interview attached.
The Bahraini Australian Youth Movement, alongside other refugee rights supporters, will assert today that it is not a crime to seek asylum.
Al’Hubaishi adds, “I have the right to see my family again. I have the right to see my baby. I have the right to see my kids. I have the right to unite with them again. It has been a very long time. I have a new baby that I haven’t seen. I ask the Australian authorities to accept their visas so I can unite with them again”.
Parliamentarian from Bahrain talks of lack of democracy under al
Abdulelah Al’Hubaishi: 0452 211581
Please click here for full interview with Abdulelah Al’Hubaishi
Abbas Abdul’Rassul: 0450 573 504
Please click here for full interview with Abbas Abdul’Rassul
Members of the Bahraini Australian Youth Movement hold a vigil outside the US embassy on 11 February 2012 to commemorate the martyrs of their pro-democracy movement.